Color-Coded ID Program

View Segments Segment :

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Embed
  • Link
  • Help
  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Embed
  • Link
  • Help
Successfully saved clip
Find all your clips in My Lists
Failed to save clip
  • Transcript
  • Transcript

    Auto-Scroll: ONOFF 
    • 00:00

      [MUSIC PLAYING][Color-Coded ID Program]

    • 00:10

      THURSTON DOMINA: So several years back,I read in the newspaper about a couple of high schoolsthat had created a color-coded ID program.[Thurston Domina, Associate Professor, Universityof North Carolina, Chapel Hill] And so what they were doing wasthey were telling the kids who scored verywell on these end-of-course tests that matterfor the high school-- if kids scored

    • 00:31

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: at the top on those tests in every test they took,they'd get a platinum-colored ID that they could wear aroundtheir school.And if they scored in the top two bands on all of those testsor if they improved a great deal,they'd get a gold-colored ID.And all the other kids walked around the schoolwearing a white ID card.And it turned out-- I started asking around,

    • 00:54

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: and it turned out that similar plansexist in a lot of schools.And they come out of a concern by school administratorsthat these end-of-course tests that schools administerthat are really important for teachers and for administratorsand school accountability policies-- theydon't matter to students.And so they're worried that students are sleeping their way

    • 01:16

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: through the tests, they're bubbling boxes randomly,and that they're not giving them their best.And they're also worried-- that's in a narrow way,but they also worry that high achievingstudents know why they're working in the school, right?They know that-- they've got clear incentives in termsof college admissions and so on.But students who maybe aren't on a selective college admissions

    • 01:37

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: track, administrators worry they don't have incentives.So this was an attempt to give those kids an incentive, right?To give them a nudge, a little status,a little pat on the back in a very, veryopen way around the school.And so these schools were doing amazing things.There were giving kids discounts based on-- discountsto school events and things like that

    • 01:57

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: based on their color-coded IDs.But they even had a separate lunch line for the kidswith the gold and the platinum IDs.And of course, because school in America is unequal,those color-coded IDs were being distributedin very predictable-- very predictably unequal ways,with white and Asian students disproportionately getting

    • 02:21

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: the desirable gold, platinum IDs, black and Hispanicstudents, poor students disproportionately gettingthe less desirable white ID.So we battled to get access to data about thisand eventually did.And we wanted to know two things.The first is, what does it mean to be exposed to this program?Does this program motivate students?

    • 02:43

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: What does it mean to just have the promise of the color-codedID there?And what we found is that kids' achievement improved prettydramatically on those courses that those IDs were rewarding--only on those tests that the IDs were rewarding.You didn't see improvements in grades.You didn't see improvements in kids' behavior,

    • 03:04

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: their suspension.But on those tests that the ID program rewarded,they were pretty-- the schools' test scores increasedby quite a bit.The second question we wanted to askis-- and we did this in what we call a difference in differenceway, where we were comparing these schools that implementedthe program and their trajectories over timewith schools that didn't implement the program.

    • 03:26

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: So we had a control group.But then we were interested, within those schools thathad the ID program, what does it meanfor you to get an undesirable white ID rather than a goldor platinum ID?You could worry a lot of things about whatit might mean to you, right?Because there's a lot of stigma there.The school is telling you you're a lousy student.

    • 03:47

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: And so does getting that white ID have a detrimental effecton those kids' achievements?What we did was-- there's a cool method.It's maybe a little technical, but letme see if I can explain it.It's called a regression discontinuity.So those IDs were administered basedon test scores that were graded on a continuous scale--from 150 to 450, let's say.

    • 04:08

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: And there was a threshold.If your lowest test score was below 350,you got a white ID card.Now all tests are measured with error.So we reasoned that kids who score 349 on this testare really no different from kidswho score 351 on this test.And so the trajectory-- your test scores--

    • 04:30

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: your prior test scores ought to be positively relatedto your next test scores or your grades or so on.But there shouldn't be any sort of-- thatshould be a smooth trajectory across that threshold.But if there was a jump and the kids who scored justabove the gold ID card threshold were doing betterin terms of attendance or grades or something like that,we would think that's evidence that the effect-- that getting

    • 04:52

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: the ID changed kids' behavior.And sure enough, it did.It changed their behavior on a wide array of outcomes--on their test scores, on their grades,on their likelihood of being suspended from school.In all of those places, the kids whogot white IDs were pulled back and the kids

    • 05:13

      THURSTON DOMINA [continued]: who got the desirable gold and platinum IDs were pulled up.So you have this interesting thingwhere a policy is-- a school practiceis improving school culture across an entire school,even as it creates this stark new inequalityamong the students within the school.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Color-Coded ID Program

View Segments Segment :

Abstract

Dr. Thurston Domina describes a school incentive program that awards specially colored badges to students who score well on standardized tests. While it showed stark racial inequalities, the program appeared to have positive outcomes in the behavior of students who received the achievement badges.

SAGE Video Cases
Color-Coded ID Program

Dr. Thurston Domina describes a school incentive program that awards specially colored badges to students who score well on standardized tests. While it showed stark racial inequalities, the program appeared to have positive outcomes in the behavior of students who received the achievement badges.

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website

Back to Top